Croatia air passenger numbers drop 61.5% y/y in March

Croatia air passenger numbers drop 61.5% y/y in March
By bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

The number of people travelling through Croatia’s airports showed a 61.5% year-on-year drop to 133,000 people in March, according to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS). 

“The circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 epidemic have directly influenced the decrease in the traffic of passengers in Croatian airports,” the DZS said in a statement on May 14. Croatia imposed a lockdown to contain the virus in mid-March. 

Only 3,236 takeoffs and landings were recorded during the month, down 43.7% y/y. 

The largest number of passengers, 37,000, travelled to and from German airports, down 64.9% y/y. 

The largest number of passengers passed through Zagreb Airport, which handled 96,000 passengers, down by 58.5% y/y. There were steeper declines at Croatia’s two airports on the Adriatic coast as tourist traffic shut down: Dubrovnik Airport (19,000 passengers, -66.5%) and Split Airport (16,000 passengers, -66.5%). 

Air passenger numbers are highly seasonal in Croatia, which is a popular destination for summer sea, sun and sand breaks. Numbers are typically low in the winter months, before rising sharply during the spring and peaking in July and August. 

Air freight traffic amounted to 659 tonnes, a decrease of 16.5% y/y.

The DZS also released data on port traffic that showed a 12.3% decrease in the number of people who embarked or disembarked n the first quarter of the year, to just under 2.6mn, the lowest level in the last five years. Again, this was a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and travel restrictions. 

Goods traffic via Croatia’s main ports decreased by 11.0% compared to the same period in 2019, though there were modest increases in traffic via the ports of Rijeka and Split.